Gothtober Day 4 Comic Art with Siri Fisher

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Oct 042017
Visit and click on DAY 4 to see the comic art of Siri Fisher!
We here at Gothtober are shrieking into our bile soup and wailing and gnashing our teeth in pride! Siri grew up with Gothtober, and now she’s a middle schooler, and she likes to draw, and made us a Gothober piece, and we just couldn’t be more proud! We remember when she was just a tiny baby zombie, sucking on brain juice from her bottle, clawing up the sides of the house, chasing rats and levitating them with her mind, oh, such sweet days. We’d like to thank Siri’s parents who helped her in this endeavor and raised a fine upstanding creative citizen!
The young Siri has completed SIXTY drawings and made them into a sequenced animatic for our bloodshot eyeballs! Not only is this piece from the future (it was drawn digitally) but it’s a complex story that is both somber and sweet, mercurial and solemn, with classic notes of anime, and the finish kicks in with Edward Gorey-esque overtones. We think Siri’s piece is a fine creation to add to Gothtober’s macabre museum of fall season offerings, and we couldn’t be more verklempt at her success on this auspicious occasion. You can see more of her art on Twitter @roastedudon.
Siri is the youngest Gothtober artist to submit a piece at age 13. Our other youngest artist to submit a piece some years ago was Nyssa Oru, who was 15 when she sent in her work, and who recently graduated from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. This, of course, makes Gothtober feel even MORE old than ever, but since we’re undead anyway, and age doesn’t really apply to us, we’ll just process the fame and glory of this moment from beneath the earth’s silty loam.
Gothtober fulfills its mission in part by forming and fostering opportunities for art makers and art doers. It provides stressful deadlines and requirements for existing and aspiring artists. Thus, Gothtober is some kind of weird rite of passage at any age for anyone who is learning the terrifying commitments of rules, phases, and target dates in the artistic world. We’d like to think we’re responsible for ghoulish, churlish, lycanthropic, vampiric, behavior, as well as causing tension, tension headaches, sleeplessness, worry, and other deliciously unsavory emotions.
Read Siri’s and other Gothtober contributor’s bios here! 

Gothtober Day 3 with Odious Ari

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Oct 032017
Visit and click on DAY 3 for a graveyard ditty from Odious Ari!
Well what have we here but international SUPERSTAR, Odious Ari with a hand hewn music video from the good ol’ days! I wanted to know more, so I wrote Odious a telegram, and wouldn’t you know, I got a telegram BACK with some “behind the scenes” information! Here’s what Western Union delivered:
It was shot at Hollywood Forever STOP Joey Jenkins was the cinematographer and David Gutierrez directed and PA-ed STOP We were really concerned about being offensive and/or upsetting people who may have been there to actually honor to their relatives, but it’s hard when you are three weirdos with a mannequin leg, creepy baby doll, accordion and banjolele STOP When people approached where we were shooting, we tried to look “normal” (hard to do as Odious) and hide the goods, hence the photo of the leg sticking out behind the tombstone STOP 
Odious also said “The baby doll and I had a delightful little nap together. It was past both our nap times and we were getting cranky. A little shut-eye and we were back to waltzing. We also both ended up wetting our pants, and that was the cue for the shoot (and Joey and David’s willingness to be around me) to end. The song is called Fifteen More Years and it’s a duet between a terrible father (played by Odious) and a goth, butch quinceanera (also played by Ari) who hates every minute of her “celebration.”
We are delighted as peach pie and pumpkin buckle to show this rousing tune and visual accompaniment to Gothtober’s queasy, creaky, creepy collection of Halloween entertainment! Thanks, Odious!
Read Odious’s and other Gothtober contributor’s bios here! 

Madea is BACK to Haunt your FACE with Boo2!

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Jul 272017

This Halloween just keeps getting better and better, with Stranger Things Season 2, SpongeBob’s Halloween Special, and Madea in the mix makes for another reason to just keep watching all the fims and TV shows in October! This is the TENTH Madea movie, something to think about while you wonder where your life is going and what you are doing.

Yes, Dracula, There WILL be a SpongeBob Halloween Stop-Motion Special!

 Animation, Film, Treats  Comments Off on Yes, Dracula, There WILL be a SpongeBob Halloween Stop-Motion Special!
Jul 232017

I’m trying really hard not to hyperventilate while typing this because I’m just SO EXCITED to learn that The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom is coming to your television (via Nickolodeon) this October AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! While I was a wee bachelor’s student, running around CalArts and learning the joys and rigors of Experimental Animation, there was this GUY.

His name was Steve Hillenburg, and every time I was running in and out of the lab, he was working on his stuff. 

He was eleven years older than me, which felt super OLD, and super SMART. People even FIVE years older than you when you’re 18 seem like demigods. Where I felt pulled in all directions and trying to hush my overwhelmed mind, Steve’s presence in the Experimental Animation department was quiet, strong and steady. He did not mess around, he put pencil and pen to paper everyday to build his film, frame by frame. I watched it happen, wondering what he was up to, and then one day, it was ready! Here’s one of the films I saw him hand-drawing all those days at his desk, it’s called The Green Beret. 

So anyway, that GUY I went to school with invented SpongeBob Squarepants, and you can just SEE in the style, the humor, every last pitch perfect observation of a hilarious cartoon underwater weirdo world just couldn’t come from any brain but Steve’s. If you haven’t seen the Spongebob Squarepants Holiday Special, it’s well done, and such a love letter to the Rankin Bass stop-motion animation specials of old. I can’t wait to see this Halloween Treat from an ol’ school chum!  

(From L-R) Mr. Krabs, Flying Dutchman, Plankton, Squidward, Sandy, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick in Nickelodeon’s stop-motion special, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom. Credit: Screen Novelties/Nickelodeon© 2017 Viacom International, Inc. All Rights

An Old Film/Music Treat for You!

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Jul 132017

Well well well, whaddya know, it’s 2017, and the Gothtober worm turns! Time to gather some wood and start a fire for the cauldron. While we’re doing that, we’ve got something for you to watch.

From 1937, here’s a little something to share, a somewhat pastoral and stressful animated evaluation of an abandoned windmill’s structural integrity during a passing storm. Will the windmill’s delicate eco system of residents survive the weather’s blustering braggadocio? Well we honestly just don’t know!!! It’s a stressful movie, because there’s a whole situation involving a mother bird and a water wheel that is not for the faint of heart. This film, a favorite of  Hayao Miyazaki’s, is beautiful because of it’s lush colors and painterly style, along with an appreciation for creatures of the night and their engrossing nocturnal antics.

Johann Strauss II (1825 — 1899)

The Silly Symphonies cartoons were intended to accompany larger features, all of them set to compelling musical soundtracks. This film uses “One Day When We Were Young” from Johann Strauss II’s operetta The Gypsy Baron. The Gypsy Baron is quite a fun operetta featuring mistaken identity, young lovers, old lovers, comic rustics, and buried treasure! It still gets played quite a bit today. Strauss the younger is possibly the most popular composter of all time, his nickname being “The Waltz King.” If you’d like to see this piece conducted by one of the 20th century’s greatest conductors (Carlos Kleiber) lead the Vienna Phil in performing it, by all means, check this out! At 6:13 you can hear the clarinet performing one of the most difficult excerpts in the history of the instrument, a sassy A-G#-F#-G#-A-F#-B-F#!!!

But THIS Silly Symphony is different than all the others because it is the FIRST to use the multiplane camera! It was a huge game changer in the industry that opened doors to special effects as we know it. Multiplane is basically shooting downward on a “layer cake” of backgrounds and elements on transparent glass platens. Pieces are tracked and animated at different speeds and distances, giving the impression of 3-D, although not stereoscopic (to be clear). It was invented by the largely overlooked and terribly under-appreciated animation titan, Ub Iwerks, then of Disney studios. The technology was further refined throughout the late thirties, officially tested on The Old Mill (seen above) which won an Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 1937. Multiplane was then used to make Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Pinnochio, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and many other films. Now we have digital multiplane cameras, the last animated film to use multiplane the old-fashioned way was Disney’s Little Mermaid.

8 1/2 Balloons with Del Norte DAY 18

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Oct 182016


Visit and click on DAY 18 for an avant-garde cinematic EVENT!

Spoiler alert: It has BALLOONS. I guess that’s not much of a spoiler, since the word “Balloons” is in the title. Duh.

There’s a Columbian balloon man, and a professional tumbler who looks kind of like a kid… wait… that IS a kid! It’s a kid in Los Angeles!

The score is original, played with a real theremin and real cello. It gets more and more ominous the more you watch, we may never know how that balloon man feels. The alienating effects of modernization are felt in this arresting film, Fellini surely would agree.

For anyone who participates in Gothtober every year, it’s absolutely the kind of pressure some artists dread. Taking part in Gothtober means you are expected to deliver some kind of art, while facing intense public scrutiny, on a constricted schedule, while simultaneously having to deal with your own day-to-day obligations, work and personal relationships! Can you feel the angst?

We think Del Norte had some good fun, with much success!

Day 17 with Christine Panushka

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Oct 172016


Visit and click on DAY 17 to see animation by world famous animator, Christine Panushka! This piece is called “Greed” it involves some pumpkin-type character/creatures, and a certain dynamic that is all too familiar in today’s society. Perhaps this dynamic has always prevailed, but it does seem that lately it’s more pervasive. However, not to worry, as you can see, greed can only go so far, it has an end, just like everything else. But what happens next? Hmmmm!

This author (Head Candy Corn of would like to point out that Christine Panushka has been my mentor for 30 years. The guidance, patience, and teachings from Christine as my instructor and mentor over the years has helped me to be the artist I am today. With Christine’s support, I have grown up to lead and take part in projects that not only push my own quest to learn, but to delight in collaborations that help my fellow artists push themselves to make art.

I am not the only one who feels this way, there are hundreds of us. She has built armies of animators, instructors, artists, and film makers, so here’s a 21 Pumpkin salute from Gothtober to Panushka Power!

Find out more about Christine Panushka by visiting her Wikipedia Page! Wow! 

LA Ghosts for DAY 16

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Oct 162016


Day 16 of features the night antics of a couple of wayward ghosts on their way to somewhere else. The film is called “Terminus” having to do with the termination of life, along with the terminals we wait in while we’re taking whatever journeys both life and death require of us.

Shot in and around Vernon and 26th St. of Los Angeles, the ghosts make their way in and around the belly of the city. They go a-haunting among diesel engines, intermodal containers, and corridors of active and forgotten tracks.

Julianna Parr does Gothtober artwork under the guise of Danny Torrance, Ichabod Brains, and other pseudonyms. She is head Candy Corn of the Gothtober Countdown Calendar.

Lori Meeker and the Lava Lady for DAY 15

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Oct 152016


Visit and click on Day 15 and watch this dear sweet tribute to one of LA’s historic eccentric personalities who passed away in September of 2016. It’s Lori Meeker’s puppet vignette about Rae Susan Strauss! Sometimes you’d see her in the crosswalk, never in a rush, gliding past, one of the regulars, always a curious human to witness. She lived in a black lava covered house, thus, her nickname was “The Lava Lady.”

Not many of us understood her, but we liked her. We liked her a lot, she wore her hair in a tall spike, wore bellbottom pants and extremely tall platform shoes. She was a poet. She was many things. Find out more about The Lava Lady by reading this LA Weekly article.

Find out more about the wonderful work of Lori Meeker by visiting her website! 

Ian MacKinnon’s Witchy Gothtober DAY 14

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Oct 142016


Visit and click on Day 14 for the most helpful advice you’ll get this year!

Ian MacKinnan’s coven of witchy sisters are going to guide you toward greatness, if only you’ll listen to their common sense wisdom! Each of them is over 500 years old, so if you think better… Witch Please, think again!

Studies have shown that regular humans like us can gain infinite knowledge from the centuries of experience our dear majikal wimmin sisters have gleaned. If you don’t like what they are saying, don’t be too vocal about it, they can say incantations that make you grow hair on your eyeballs, it’s best that you not explore their wrath! We think you’ll find that if you apply these helpful bits of learning to your life lexicon, you will achieve a level of balance that was thought to be long lost, according to legendary lore.